My father was Southwest Sales Manager for the National Battery Company, so that’s why I started out selling automobile batteries and why I had to purchase a panel truck to carry my inventory until I could establish a location, which I eventually found in Frisco, Texas. I paid $25.00 per month rent. This gave me a business address to use (instead of my home address), and this is where I stored empty battery boxes to make it appear I had inventory. As you can determine, this was “poor-boy” start-up.
Let’s do the math on this venture:
Truck Cost: $689.00 – 24 month pay out with no interest, Mr. Alexander tried to help young people starting in business.
Truck Payment: $28.71 per month truck payment
Rent: $25.00 per month
Gas/Oil: $10.00 per month
Salary: $25.00 per month
$88.71 Monthly Overhead
Since my father was Sales Manager for National Battery Co., I could buy batteries at warehouse distribution prices, which averaged about $6.00 per 6-volt battery.
I made a customer list from my home telephone directory. From that list, I picked the accounts I wanted to approach. I then surveyed the accounts by driving by them on Saturday afternoons with my girlfriend, who later became my wife of 44 years until her passing. I could determine the owner’s name (usually from the sign outside). Frequently, with good observation, I could determine the amount of inventory they had in stock. In order to conserve operating costs, invoices and sales pads were not printed, but rubber stamped instead. I initiated a program (not used in automotive business at that time), to sell batteries on consignment.